Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
The following is a summary of the June/July 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in “We Uphold American Liberty, Prosperity, Constitutional Law, and Humble Government,” describes the rapacious and unrelenting nature of leftist politics, and he points to America’s uniqueness.
Paul G. Kengor, in “Marx at 200: Classical Marxism vs. Cultural Marxism,” reveals the source of the revolutionary fervor that is roiling American culture today; in “Marx’s Apologists Should Be Red in the Face,” he puts the lie to those who assert that Marx didn’t advocate force and violence; in “Remembering Barbara Bush — and Robin,” he shares a poignant story about the Bush family; in “John Kerry: Reporting for Duty . . . From Vietnam to Iran,” he exposes John Kerry’s long trail of betrayal.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Fifty Years Ago, Washington Was Burning; Despite Continuing Problems, Advances in Race Relations Have Been Dramatic,” provides a large and hopeful perspective on a persisting concern; in “The Strange Criticism of the Movie ‘Chappaquiddick’ — A Seeming Defense of Ted’s Kennedy’s Admittedly Bad Behavior,” he reviews an important event in American history; in “Whatever Happened to American Conservatism: Remembering Russell Kirk,” he presents the insights of a gentleman and scholar.
Herbert London, in “America Can Meet the Challenge of China with Education and Innovation,” asserts that America needs a “Sputnik moment”; in “Israel and Saudi Arabia — A Secret Middle East Alliance,” he describes an emerging strategy to oppose Iran; in “Due Process Circa 2018 Is in Dire Trouble,” he makes the case for the rule of law for those accused of sexual misconduct; in “The Russian Chessboard,” he considers the role Russia is playing in the Middle East.
Mark W. Hendrickson, in “The Passing of Two Great Americans,” marks the passing of the “greatest generation” with faithful memories; in “High-Priced College Textbooks: Uncle Sam to the Rescue,” he uses a new government program to teach an economics lesson; in “Memorial Day Reflections, 2018,” he explains the meaning of “mast-and-a-half”; in “The Big Picture: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change,” he details the crippling costs and small benefits of political solutions to climate change; in “1968: A Year of Lost Innocence,” he recalls the shattering events of a historical turning point.
Mike Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nationalism,” presents a broader historical interpretation of nationalism to demonstrate how misguided our present views are.
Francis P. DeStefano, in “Battle of Midway,” describes the sudden change of fortune that turned the battle in America’s favor.
David Ayers, in “Advice to Orthodox Protestants and Catholics: ‘Just Stand,’” supports Christian orthodoxy.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: An Explosive Issue,” addresses an newly discovered victim group in America.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 71: Medieval Technology and Social Change by Lynn White,” presents a writer who identifies the forgotten innovations that transformed Medieval society.
It’s convenient to parcel out my life
In days and weeks because the rising and
The setting sun is easy to go by —
And if there weren’t day interspersed with night
It would be much harder to remember
What I did last week — and I am really
Grateful for my eyes to see bare branches
In a blue sky and grateful for my skin
And body so I can know what the cold
Of winter is — and also there is my
Marvelous mind that reminds me while a
Chill is rising from the snow on the ground
In several month the roses bloom again
And in summer I may wear a t-shirt.
I see the moon in
the morning and in
the afternoon too —
It’s an everyday
Presence to go by.
When I understand nothing moves faster
Than light and that the light from distant stars
Traveled billions of years to reach the earth
Then I appreciate immensity
And when I understand that during the
Passage of the light the stars radiating
The light have imploded and no longer
Exist then I encounter mystery —
And when I consider that the forces
Of gravity are whirling galaxies
And everything that exists is moving
In relation to every other thing
Then I have to put my life and efforts
In context with a sobering cosmos.
I have questions
and would like
also I love
a rising sun.
The light a star generates radiates
In all directions and on earth we see
The cosmos from a limited point of
View and I believe it’s necessary
To question where we are going and to
Grasp purposes worthy of our living
Because we have the curiosity
And the wherewithal to comprehend so
Many of the facts about us and we
Know immensity and minuteness and
We understand our tininess within
The universe but no one can explain
How our molecules and electrical
Impulses create thought and emotion.
of the cosmos is nothing
compared with the
everyday miracle of
The iron in my body came from an
Exploding star billions of years ago
And my body is composed of atoms
And molecules and strands of DNA
That testify to an origin I
Share with every living being on Earth
And within my body there are layers
Of organization where cells behave
Independently and for the good of
The whole also so that I can sit at
My table and cut an orange into
Pieces and taste the taste of an orange
And I can speculate from this table this
Moment is moving to infinity.
There are billions
and billions of stars
in space and atoms
in my body — there is
Scientists uphold a prism of glass to
Separate the light into colors and
They aim spectroscopes to see the colors
Of starlight and thereby they deduce the
The age and chemical composition
Of the most distant stars and in a few
Thousand years by working together they
Have exposed the swirling cosmos and the
Inescapable fragility of
Humanity too and yet our human
Comprehension resembles a super
Nova bursting and seeding the empty
Spaces with a consciousness that will not
Be satisfied with lingering questions.
Even before the
questions could be
formulated there was
cooperation — there were
Our mission is to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.
Remembering What Made Us Good
Barry MacDonald — Editorial
Please look above and read the mission statement of The St. Croix Review. Usually it is presented in a shorter version: Our mission is to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit. . . .
Progressives would read the above sentence and scoff, or become sarcastic and scornful. Let them. We have work to do — to assert ourselves productively.
The Left has taken over our education system. After the Parkland shooting in Florida, how did the students so quickly organize themselves into a protest movement with a narrow focus on gun control? See the encouragement teachers and administrators gave them, allowing them a day off from schoolwork to mount a ’60s style march. Notice the full-time attention the news media gave the students. The students are children. It appears they have been trained beforehand to think and behave in a scripted direction.
Thinking gun control is the only solution to school shootings is like looking at the problem through a straw.
Suzanne Venker, of the Fox News Channel, presented a wonderful report “Missing Fathers and America’s Broken Boys — the Vast Majority of Mass Shooters Come From Broken Homes.” She based her report on a study published by Family Studies on Dec. 16, 2013, titled “Sons of Divorce, School Shooters.”
Suzanne writes that boys and girls react differently to the dissolution of their families, with girls being more likely to hurt themselves or behave promiscuously. But the girls do have the more frequent advantage of staying with mothers, while the boys are often separated from their fathers. Suzanne makes the point that boys need their fathers for nurturance and role models.
In America today, fatherhood is neglected and pundits use the term “toxic masculinity” to scorn and condemn men.
Divorce is commonplace. The ideal of a mother, and father, each of whom has an irreplaceable role in raising children, is devalued.
Apart from the few boys who become shooters, who can guess how many boys are harmed because they don’t learn healthy masculinity from their fathers? How do we promote the importance of fatherhood? Perhaps we should begin talking about the importance of fatherhood.
America is suffering because we have absorbed too many toxic progressive falsehoods. One of the most pernicious narratives is that a prosperous American economy is poisoning the earth. It speaks well of Americans that we want our economy to be as harmless as possible, and it should be noted that American emissions of CO2 have been declining year after year — more greatly than many signatories of the Paris Accord. Americans are big-hearted people and we want to live in a clean environment.
Yet Leftist politicians and intellectuals have implanted the idea that broad-based prosperity and growth is self-centered and evil. We are told that the “profit motive” is evil. We are being directed to aim for a “sustainable” economy instead of a growing economy. We are being regulated to death under the assumption that free enterprise is destructive. We are advised that living in single-family homes in the suburbs is selfish, as we are creating “sprawl.” Instead, we are told, we should be renting high-rise apartments in large cities. And it would be nice if we gave up our cars and took a train to the office.
Modern life has become difficult because the costs of higher education, housing, and healthcare are rising dramatically, while wages have stagnated or declined. Blue-collar men are losing jobs to technical innovation and are facing daunting and dispiriting challenges. The middle class is shrinking and the working class is struggling to survive.
College students are graduating with burdensome debt; they can’t find well-paying jobs, and often they settle for part-time work. Many graduates are living with their parents instead of getting married, buying homes, and starting families. And conditions are even worse for high school graduates, as their jobs are taken by frustrated college graduates.
America must be allowed to grow again. We must not heed the Leftist pressure to limit our economy. We must break the unaccountable power of bureaucrats who are strangling free enterprise. Any politician who speaks of sustainability in preference to growth should be voted out of office.
Donald Trump is absolutely correct in wanting to “make America great again.” It is remarkable how such a simple, laudable, statement sets him apart from every other politician. Any American politician who wants a hobbled America should be ashamed of her- or himself.
We must have faith that the return of broad-based prosperity, that promotes upward mobility again, will lift America up and out of the doldrums — and many of our social pathologies will dissipate.
And we should notice that the billionaires and millionaires (Tom Steyer, Leo DiCaprio, and Al Gore) who say that Americans should settle for humble circumstances, have no intention of living humbly themselves — they are already living large.
This latest $1.3 trillion spending bill, which the President mistakenly signed, takes as much money from the American people as President Obama took when the Democrats controlled the House. Shame on the Congress and President Trump! The President should have vetoed the bill.
The Republican leadership played the same trick the Democrats got away with: dumping a 2,200-page bill at the last minute, and leaving no time for the public to discover what’s in it. Who knows how many secret payoffs are in it?
Every dollar seized by a crony is unavailable to an entrepreneur who could have used it to create wealth. Every dollar borrowed and spent today is an extra burden of debt heaped on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. How can people in the middle and lower classes become upwardly mobile if the seed money they need is given to cronies? This is the first time in American history when the young face a diminished future because their parents have been dissolute.
Our mission statement asserts that we are a “good” and “great” nation. “Good” comes before “great.” Napoleon Bonaparte was great, but was he good? We could have a lively debate about the supposed “good” he did.
America is a great nation. Among other things, we put astronauts on the moon. But more importantly the American people are good people, because our freedoms allow us to blossom into enterprise and independence, which, in turn, affords us the opportunity to be compassionate.
We are also good because of our religious faith. We know that are born not only for ourselves, but also for the benefit of our families and communities. We were not born to be selfish.
We should remember what makes us good. And we should remove every selfish politician. Republicans need to primary out a good number elected Republicans. *
The following is a summary of the April//May 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in “Remembering What Made Us Good” introduces the mission of The St. Croix Review: to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “With Its Swift Embrace of Massive Deficits, the Republican Party We Once Knew Is Gone,” cites the differences in behavior and attitude of Republican politicians when they were not in leadership, and now that they are; in “Donald Trump Thinks “Trade Wars Are Good and Easy to Win” — He Should Think Again,” he demonstrates the risky game President Trump is playing; in “Russia Will Surely Interfere with Our 2018 Election — Will We Be Ready?” he reports on Russia’s international meddling, and questions whether the Trump administration is prepared.
Paul Kengor, in “Imagine if Stormy Daniels Were Bill Clinton’s Friend Gennifer Flowers,” writes about the double standards the media apply to friends and enemies; in “Obama’s CIA Director Would Sooner Vacation in North Korea Than at Mar-a-Lago,” he presents John Brennan’s commitment to Communism; in “Let’s Not Forget Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and the Four-Finger Salute,” he uses the occasion of the death of Charles Manson to highlight a miscarriage of justice; in “Remembering Fidel Castro’s Death,” he details the Communist oppression of Cuba — an island without privately owned boats.
Mark Hendrickson, in “Another Budget Deal Bites the Dust,” recites the history of presidential and congressional failure to curb deficit spending, and concludes that the pressure for increasing federal spending on both parties is irresistible; in “Proposed Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum: President Trump’s First Major Economic Mistake,” he demonstrates why tariffs are counterproductive.
Herbert London, in “Reliving the Lessons of the Free Market in the Trump Era,” credits President Trump’s use of unhindered markets for America’s revival; in “Due Process Circa 2018 Is in Dire Trouble,” in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault, he defends the due process of law.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Populism,” redeems the word “populism” by putting it within a modern contex.
Philip Vander Elst, in “Capitalist Technology Sustained the Failed Economic Experiment of Soviet Communism,” imparts the lesson that Communism and all the various forms of socialism create poverty and misery.
Thomas S. Martin, in “The Amazoning of the University,” shows “a good teacher breathes life into a student.”
Stanley Keehlwetter, in “Billy Graham: My Personal Reflections,” shares memories of the great evangelist.
Gary S. Smith, in “A Tribute to Billy Graham,” highlights Billy Graham’s life and influnce.
David Hein, in “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Irony of American History: Still Vital at 66,” examines a perceptive and enduring message from a giant American intellectual.
Gary Scott Smith, in “Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.” reminds Americans of the passage of a great civil rights leader.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: The Consequences of Class,” remarks on the ways we misunderstand each other.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 70: Tales of Adventure,” reviews the successes and failures of several writers.
It comes in the windows and even through
The walls the second the furnace takes a
Break from heating the home as we have drawn
The curtains and locked the doors but there is
No mitigation of the weight of the
Cold on a winter night in December
In Minnesota even though we passed
The solstice and daylight will get longer
Gradually we face the coldest days
Of the year so it not just tonight that
Is bearing down it’s the burden of our
Knowledge of the months coming and there is
No use in grumbling so I put on my
Thick socks and pile up the heavy blankets.
While walking around
during the daylight only
a little oval
including my mouth eyes and
nose is exposed to the cold.
When I think about the people who were
Airbrushed from the photographs of Joseph
Stalin because they fell in disfavor
With the Soviet Union I wonder
Whether the brush dispersed a very fine
Spray of paint or whether in fact color
Was brushed over the person erasing
His personage and I am sure that the
Work was meticulous and demanded
Dexterity — and then I think about
The millions of people who disappeared
Who were airbrushed from the earth in brutal
Fashion erasing their existence in
The service of an ideology.
is people are capable
of such monstrous
evil while professing the
I was driving through Stillwater doing
A chore turning on familiar streets and
I noticed the sun appearing with a
Right turn and with a left turn there was
The early morning moon — and I was in my
Working mind following the streets and the
Turns of the city but the sun and moon
Kept popping up around a corner and
Seemed to follow me — the moon was looming
White but yesterday it was yellow in
The dark — and there in a window was the
Lively reflection of the sun shining
Gold and my eyes didn’t hurt in lingering
Over the sight — and then I was driving.
The sun and moon are
everyone can see —
they enliven the
As winter is dragging on and darkness
Is dominating morning and evening
I became frustrated being stuck in
The little rooms within my little house
So I was blasé this morning in the
Bathroom when I opened the cabinet
And the trimmer fell out into the sink
And I didn’t care and I didn’t think
Until I trimmed off half my beard and I
Realized the fall had changed the settings
And then what could I do but shave the rest
Even though I was watching the daily
Progression of my winter beard and now
I have to begin all over again.
Or maybe not but
I will certainly
go to a barber
to get a haircut
and restore balance.
I gaze at the perpetrator in the
Mirror every morning and start with the
Left side of my chin with downward strokes and
Then I go under my nose and it does
Become apparent when it’s time to change
The razor because a dull blade will drag
Above my lip were I am sensitive —
I could be thinking about politics
Or the Academy Awards — while on
My right side next to my ear I begin
Stroking down against the grain to my neck
Until I reach my chin and when finished
I like to put the razor down and with
My fingers I like to feel smoothiness.
I’ve just discovered
an oddity that’s
to notice — my right
side is hairier.
Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .
Barry MacDonald — Editorial
The Vietnam War was a turning point in American history after which it became fashionable to be unpatriotic. Today the Left has almost succeeded in aligning patriotism with racism and bigotry.
For most of our history Americans looked up to symbols of national greatness. Achievements like the Berlin Airlift, the Marshall Plan, the landing on the moon, were sources of pride. The Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building, and the California Aqueduct were national monuments just as much as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and Mount Rushmore.
Evel Knievel was self-destructive, reckless, boastful, and garish, but he was also uniquely courageous in a way that evoked American heroism. Americans admired him as they might have admired the daring of the frontiersmen of the 19th century. He was wild, undaunted, and uncontrollable. Evel Knievel today would be disparaged for his “toxic masculinity” and his “whiteness.”
Perhaps Donald Trump trumps exhibits a bit of Evel Knievel’s allure.
What does a nation look like once its self-confidence and pride is lost? Once the ideal of American goodness has been trashed, what remains of its morale, and where do we find a sense of civic virtue?
Our university campuses are beginning to look like Maoist schools of fanaticism, where deviation from leftist orthodoxy is put down with violence.
America’s genius at Google, Facebook, and Twitter is allied with leftist ideology and is censoring conservative opinion. The technological magic that is doing so much in freeing people from drudgery is also being used for political advantage.
The most powerful bureaucracies in Washington D.C. — the IRS, the Justice Department, the FBI, the NSA, and the State Department — are behaving as if they are accountable to no one. They are secretive. They stonewall congressional oversight. Attorney General Eric Holder was held in Contempt of Congress to no avail.
There are questions whether the Justice Department, the FBI, and the NSA were used by the Obama Administration to spy on the Trump campaign, and after the election, to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump Administration. If the Justice Department has been turned into a political weapon, whom can we trust to uphold Justice?
The Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, recently threatened that if California businesses follow federal immigration law they would be prosecuted. It has been reported that the California government will give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses, and at the same time, register them to vote.
California is rebelling against the laws of the United States. If there is an election in California in which illegal immigrants vote — as a result of California’s rebellion — then the representatives and senators from California should not be seated in Congress, and all the votes of Californians for the presidency should be thrown out.
It is important to understand what motivates the Left. As David Horowitz writes — the issue is not the issue. The Left is always aiming for a goal beyond any transitory issue. The furious energy and accusatory rhetoric of the Left is always seeking to destroy what is. The Left is a battering ram. The goal of the Left is revolution.
The Left does not really care about gay or transgender people. The Left is using gay and transgender people as tools to destroy the traditional family, because a healthy American family is a powerful transmitter of traditional American values.
Abortion is being used, in part, as a tool to minimize the traditional role of fatherhood. If only the mother may choose whether to have an abortion, then the father’s responsibility in raising children is diminished. Men need to be civilized by assuming the responsibilities of fatherhood. If men don’t become reliable husbands and fathers they lose an important part of their humanity.
Also, the Left does not really care about the impoverished people migrating to America. They pretend to be warriors for social justice, but in truth the Left needs a new base of dependant and reliable voters to replace the working class voters they have betrayed with their radical ideology.
The great apostle of Leftism, Saul Alinsky, wrote in Rules for Radicals, that his mission was to take power from the powerful and give it to the powerless. And when those who were previously powerless are comfortable and privileged, Alinsky’s enduring mission remained — to bring them down in turn. There is never an end to the revolution.
How do we combat the Left? Where is America’s strength? It is in the rule of law, and in impartial justice. It is in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is in our federal system of government, balanced with states’ rights. It is in the separation of powers. It is in the careful assimilation of immigrants. It is in the preservation of the free market, giving opportunity for enterprise and individual initiative. It is in healthy American families. And most of all, it is in our belief in God. *
The following is a summary of the February/March 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in “Endless Revolution,” exposes the evil nature of Left, and he points to the enduring strength of America.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “The Deaths in the Washington Train Crash: Was Corporate Money in Politics the Real Culprit?” shows that campaign donations are more important than public safety to some politicians and he names the politicians involved; in “Ken Burns’ Vietnam — and the Vietnam War I Remember,” he relates how the Vietnam War taught him to embrace skepticism and constitutional safeguards; in “Constant Combat Without a Congressional Resolution — Not What the Constitution Had in Mind,” he makes a neglected conservative argument that the power to declare war properly belongs to Congress.
Herbert London, in “Trump’s National Security Strategy Shows He Is Willing to Champion American Values Around the World,” writes that President Trump’s sees China and Russia as disruptive and rival forces to the U.S., but they are not necessarily enemies; in “Congress Is Finally Pulling Funding from Palestinian ‘Pay-to-Slay’” he describes a bill in Congress that reduces funding for Palestinians until Palestinian officials stop subsidizing terrorist killings; in “Putin Seeks to Drive a Wedge Between the U.S. and Egypt,” he sees the Russians gaining influence in Egypt due to uncertain American commitment.
Mark Hendrickson, in “President Trump: His First-Year Economic Record,” gives the President a B-plus; in “The Three Most Economically Significant Stories of 2017,” he demonstrates the humanity of a society based on choice and the free market, and he points out the brutality of socialist economics; in “The Cynical, Perhaps Sinister, Side of Bitcoin,” he applies common sense, and a trained economic perspective, to the buying and selling of Bitcoin.
Paul Kengor, in “Winston Churchill’s Darkest Hour,” reviews the recent movie and a pivotal point in history.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Do Cuts in Tax Rates Cause Deficits?” looks at rates of federal taxation, deficits, and spending; in “Is Trump Really a Protectionist?” he shows how Trump is using leverage to America’s benefit; in “New York Still Above Water!” he examines the art of “apocalyptic prophecy.”
Philip Vander Elst, in “The Communist Holocaust and Its Lessons for the 21st Century,” reveals the hideous nature and the monstrous crimes of Communism.
David S. Hogsette, in “Thoughtful and Sincere Critiques of the Nashville Statement: Honoring God or Fearing Man?” comments on The Nashville Statement, which is a new doctrinal statement composed by a coalition of Christians on the subject of human sexuality.
David Hein, in “Frederic Manning’s Her Privates We: a Mystery of the Great War,” reviews a classic novel of the First World War.
Ray Sinneck, in “Racy Times at the University,” offers a facinorous perspective on current events at American universities.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Thanksgiving Reflections,” considers the passing generations in America.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 69: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45,” reviews a comprehensive and masterful history of the Asian half of World War II, written by Max Hastings.
The following is a summary of the December 2017 issue of the St. Croix Review:
Angus MacDonald, who founded the St. Croix Review in 1968, fifty years ago, in “Under God,” offers a simple message.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Christ Church Turns Away from George Washington — and American History,” comments on the decision of Christ Church to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee; in “It Is an Appropriate Time to Review Race-based Affirmative Action Programs and Return to the Goal of a Color-blind Society,” writes about university admissions policies; in “An Inspiring Memoir: Kate Mahoney Is with Us Today Because of a (Vatican Decreed) Miracle,” tells an inspiring story.
Mark W. Hendrickson in “The NFL’s National Anthem Fiasco,” considers the roles played by the players, the owners, the commissioner, President Trump, and the media and he offers a simple solution.
Paul Kengor, in “Forgotten Conservative: Remembering George Schuyler,” celebrates the memory of a stalwart anti-communist newspaper columnist in the middle of the 20th century who happened to be black; in “Birthday of a Bloodbath,” he tallies the murders Communist butchers perpetrated on the 100-year anniversary of Communism; in “New York Times: Communism ‘Made Life Better’ for Chinese Women,” he points out that Communist China has 20 percent of the world’s women and over 50 percent of world’s female suicides.
Herbert London, in “Radicalism Challenges American Tradition,” describes an alliance between Islamists and Marxists in an attempt overthrow constitutional America; in “The Really Big Threat,” he believes America, Europe, and Western heritage are imperiled by low birthrates and massive immigration; in “Putin Seeks to Drive a Wedge Between the U.S. and Egypt,” he see the Russians gaining influence in Egypt due to uncertain American commitment; in “Withdraw from the Nuclear Deal Now,” he makes the case the nuclear deal with Iran is not a deterrent and is not in U.S. interests; in “The Emerging New World,” he describes a dark revolutionary force rising in America.
Frank Boreham, a columnist for Melbourne Age from 1936 to 1959, wrote “The Logic of Laughter.” Frank Boreham was an inspiration to Angus MacDonald when Angus was a young man living in Australia. This essay was published in The St. Croix Review, in June, 2001.
Anthony Harrigan, in “The Changing Human Landscape,” reminds us of how much we each depend on each other for stability and peace of mind.
Thomas Martin, in “The Curse of ‘Culture’” castigates pop-theology, and reminds us that the human soul has a built-in capacity for growth.
Harlow A. Hyde, in “The Slow Suicide of Western Civilization,” uses demographic trends as a warning for Western nation of the consequences of falling rates of births.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Landscapes of My Past,” writes about the impact of seeing cultivated fields reverting to wilderness.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 68: Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946),” presents a storyteller with flair of making readers care about personalities of animals, such as a wolf a crow, a rabbit, a fox, a mustang, and a partridge.
Galveston — 1900
Galvestonians had no warning of
The hurricane howling and impending
And six thousand were lost on Sunday night
And debris covered the ground three miles long
And two stories high while the bodies of
The missing were swept out to sea but the
Survivors were left with the question of
Staying or abandoning the island
Fleeing the sticky sweltering summers
Saying good riddance to the mosquitoes
And mostly who would abide in a place
Where God had swept with a mighty hand and
Destroyed years of careful habitation
And they decided somehow to rebuild.
couldn’t be done
because their roots
had taken hold.
Logs of yellow pine from Beaumont Texas
Were driven through the sand forty feet down
Into the clay — and concrete composed of
Crushed granite was layered over as a
Foundation reinforced with steel rods — and
Before the seawall was built giant blocks
Of granite from central Texas were placed
On an apron as a buffer from the
Bay — and granite of diverse sizes made
A riprap breakwater extending out
Twenty-seven feet — and a concave wall
Was raised in sections with the curve facing
The water — and a tongue and groove system
Connected pieces allowing movement.
asserted a wall
seventeen feet tall
above a low tide
against coming storms.
The Galvestonians determined that
Five hundred square blocks of the city had
To be raised seventeen feet so they dug
A canal behind the seawall for the
Dredge boats from Germany and they lifted
Two thousand buildings onto stilts and the
Boats scooped the fill from the bay and by means
Of capacious pipes a mix of water
And sand was pumped into place while the pipes
Were continuously repositioned
And people moved about on hoisted
Boardwalks and by street cars running on rails
That were doggedly reconfigured and
Finally Galvestonians were done.
The engines of the
dredge boats pumped mostly water
but grain by grain of
sand settled in place until
the town was elevated.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church had the panache
Of a European cathedral — a
Stone structure of monumental heft with
A tower and stained glass windows — that had
To be raised so the Galvestonians
Employed one hundred laborers who turned
Seven hundred jackscrews one half inch at
A time and over thirty-five days they
Raised the church five feet and poured a concrete
Foundation and the feat was accomplished
Without cracking the walls while services
Continued without an interruption
Showing that faith and ingenuity
Can in deed move a mountain of limestone.
Believed the deed
Could be done but
Some had to be
Electricity was coming and they
Used steam engines for dredging but they lacked
The accumulated industrial
Might that prepares people today to raise
Towers in the sky so they relied on
And faith in rebuilding Galveston not
So differently from the Egyptians who
Generated the pyramids — and in
1915 a hurricane stronger
Than that of 1900 assaulted
The island and inflicted terrible
Damage but only six people were lost
And the Galvestonians persevered.
and quite human
to put down roots
on a sand island
exposed to hurricanes.
Total Solar Eclipse
Even though the differences in size and
The distances involved are understood
And the force of gravity propelling
The moon and earth about each other and
Around the sun is accurately known
And even though we know nowhere else in
The solar system do the orbs align
So much like hand and glove for the moon to
So exactly block the sun in passing
With just a rim of light escaping — the
Miracle is that waves of photons flow
In space into the biology of
The eye and somehow sight and consciousness
Come together and comprehend the facts.
For me seeing the
sunlight passing through
cottonwood leaves and
making me happy
is a miracle.
Who could blame Mr. Bean for snoozing in
His folding chair while he was alone in
An empty museum in uniform
As a security guard puffing with
His lips fluttering and then his back slipped
Down the metal chair and he almost slid
Out of the chair while his mouth was open
And then he bent forward with his chest just
About touching his knees and he wavered
On the edge of the chair on the verge of
Collapse but he found a precarious
Point of balance and then he snorted and
Startled and rose back into the chair with
His arms dangling and he was still asleep.
Mr. Bean was
a human noodle
who gave himself to
to make people laugh.
Mom found it in an envelope box while
Dusting bookshelves and I saw spots of age
On the cover as she hesitated
Because I can be cranky but this was
Dad’s doctoral dissertation that he
Came to American to write as he
Wanted an education and in these
Pages remain his youthful pursuit of
A rational basis for faith and we
Knew the millennia of scholarship
The culmination of effort these typed
Words are as he tried so hard to be a
Messenger of wisdom and a leader
For people who were trying to be good.
Mom is a faithful
guardian of each issue
of fifty years of
publishing a journal that
Dad and I did together.
Photons are invisible scientists
Say and the brain exists in darkness yet
Somehow energy is flowing in the
Eyes the nerve cells the synapses and the
Visual cortex and somehow sunlight
And starlight reveal the vastness of the
Universe and the speed of light and space
Time has been calculated but there is
No explanation for how I have a mind
That sees and comprehends the miracle
Of my mother’s motherly concern for
Her gladioli and geraniums
And chrysanthemums that expresses a
Nurturance underlying everything.
until it bumps against its
devolves to geraniums
Cave art in France from seventeen thousand
Years ago is pregnant with hints as the
Bison horses and lions together
Are believed to be on the plains and the
Bulls horses deer and bears are supposed to
Be in forest and there is an ibex
A rhinoceros a feline apart
And artists used scaffolding to reach the
Ceilings and they prized yellow red and black
And they swabbed and blotted and sprayed with a
Tube and even as we stand where they stood
Their language is dissipated but were
They moved to create by desire and
Pride by their dreaming or perhaps pleasure?
Fire in the cave
Carbon dating the tools pointed to the
Paleolithic era but the age
Of the art can not be determined and
Animals predominate but trees and
Grass aren’t depicted and we’ve given names
To the Nave the Apse the Hall of Bulls and
The Chamber of Felines but we don’t know
The words they spoke but the bulls and bison
Are stamping the horses’ hooves are pounding
An archer is thrusting a knee forward
Confronting a line of deer charging and
The life presented bespeaks a throbbing
Heart and surging blood but their manner of
Greeting and courtesy have disappeared.
Light and breath coming
with tourists introduced
fungus and black mold
so scientists are striving
to contain the corruption.